Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

Paint-billed Crake (Neocrex erythrops)


French: Râle à bec peint German: Goldschnabel-Sumpfhuhn Spanish: Polluela picopinta

Porzana erythrops

P. L. Sclater

, 1867,

Lima, Peru


Closely related to N. colombiana, and sometimes considered conspecific, but differs in plumage and in bill structure. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • N. e. olivascens C. Chubb, 1917 – E Colombia, Venezuela and the Guianas very locally through Brazil to C & E Peru#R, N & E Bolivia, NW Argentina and Paraguay; also Costa Rica and Panama, where status unclear.
  • N. e. erythrops (P. L. Sclater, 1867) – coastal Ecuador#R, W Peru#R and Galapagos Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    18–20 cm; 2 males 51 and 67g, 2 females 43 and 61g, 3 unsexed 55–70 (62)g. Sexes alike; underwing-coverts white, often barred with black. Very similar to... read more


    Song a long, gradually accelerating series of up to 36 staccato somewhat yelping "kjek"... read more


    Reedbeds, lagoons, grassy marshes, rank grass, wet to dry pastures, rice fields, corn fields,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Very little information available. Known to feed on Diplopoda, insects (including Coleoptera) and seeds (including grass seeds). Takes... read more


    Venezuela, breeding condition Jul; Galapagos, Nov–Feb. In NE Brazil, clutch of 5 eggs laid during late Mar; in another nest eggs... read more


    No evidence for regular movements, but many records outside normal range indicative of either... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Status in some areas difficult to assess: species very furtive and difficult to observe, but often flies when disturbed. Status... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B., Bonan, A., Boesman, P. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Paint-billed Crake (Neocrex erythrops). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 15 December 2019).